Girls in Tech UK has launched a mentoring programme to boost the position of women in the technology industry, with support from Google and other digital organisations.
Josephine Goube, co-managing director at Girls in Tech UK, launched the programme at an event attended by V3, saying that it will highlight existing female technology talent in the industry rather than just shed more light on the lack of women in the sector.
"Girls in Tech is less about pointing fingers at inequality and the problem and more about highlighting the women we have today in the tech sector," she said.
Set up by Goube and others from the technology industry in their own time, the programme will offer women working in tech and digital roles in London the opportunity to receive six months of mentoring from the likes of Google Ventures, Decoded and TechStars.
Only 20 percent of the 50 mentors taking part in the programme are men, ensuring that inspirational role models come from both genders rather than just having women looking to inspire other women. Goube explained that this is a way to encourage more diversity in the industry.
Sarah Drinkwater, head of Google Campus and one of the mentors, highlighted the need for more women in the technology industry to drive diversity and inspire more innovation.
"If you can help inspire talent [in] everyone you know, male or female, I think that's how you create this culture change. That's how we talk about the potential tech has to better all of our lives. That's how we talk about the potential for all of us to have better, happier and stronger careers," she said.
Similar mentorship programmes and startup incubators might look to encourage women to create their own technology businesses, but the Mentoring Programme is aimed at women in existing technology roles who wish to progress through their company.
It will aim to connect female technology workers with high-profile women working in a similar setting, offering the opportunity to question women who have reached the upper echelons of a generally male-dominated industry.
The programme will also track the progress of its participants and see how they apply what they learn from the mentorship sessions.
The programme received hundreds of applications when it was announced at Downing Street in March with the support of Joanna Shields, former Tech City chief executive and digital adviser to the prime minister.
Shields is also acting as an ambassador for the Mentoring Programme, and will aim to promote awareness of its work.
The applications were whittled down to 15 women working in a variety of technology roles, who now stand to benefit from the programme.
Applicants needed to answer three questions by whatever means they wished, be it a covering letter or even a cartoon, to gain a chance of a place on the programme.
The questions were: What are your expectations from the programme? What made you who you are today? And where you would like to go with the programme and your career?
The need to create more female role models in the technology industry has already been highlighted by high-level executives in the sector, such as Salesforce's Melissa De Donato.
Q3 losses reverse Q2 gains
FBI briefing US companies to dump Kaspersky, claiming intelligence prove it a 'threat to national security'
Kaspersky rejects FBI accusations that its products are a 'threat to national security'
But breached contractor says that it simply didn't have that much data
EE follows Three in threatening legal action against Ofcom - but for entirely different reasons